How are you doing in this time of great uncertainty? Where a day feels like a week, or perhaps because of the news cycle changing so quickly, a day feels like an hour.
We are in an unprecedented time, and with that, it breeds uncertainty. I personally find uncertainty more riddled with anxiety than hard-to-handle truths. At least with a hard truth, you know what you are dealing with, while with uncertainty, you don't and allows your mind to race into places seeing the situation worse than what is currently happening. Fear lives in the future more than it lives in the present, and uncertainty is a playground for fear to prosper.
It made me think back to childhood when I had medical issues requiring me to have lots of blood draws. The week leading up to the blood draw, I would be worried about the pain I would endure. I imagined it being a stabbing pain that lasted for hours. Yet, when blood draw day actually came about, I felt the needle, and while it wasn't pleasant, it was nowhere near the pain I envisioned it to be... so far from it actually. Even after going through the process repeatedly and KNOWING the outcome was far less painful than my imagination of it was, I let the uncertainty of it get the best of me.
Uncertainty is often loud and seeks your attention. It doesn't like stillness, and it tries to take over in moments of quiet to send you into a world that doesn't exist... at least not yet, and most likely far worse than what is to come. COVID-19 is scary and filled with uncertainty. When will it end? How many lives will be lost? How will it impact our financial future? Will our healthcare system be able to keep up? Living in the space of uncertainty, while so very easy to do, isn't going to help us move through this or create the world we want to see on the other side of this.
So how can we move through uncertainty with a little more peace and calm? We often use the analogy of a caterpillar turning into a butterfly during times of struggle. As the caterpillar goes into its chrysalis (often referred to as cocoon), it gets very still. It's isolated and seems to be all alone in its own world. And yet, what appears to be isolation and constriction, is a birthing ground for expansion and beauty. My sister just captured this amazing natural experience in her backyard (see video below).
What if we see this time in our world as our chrysalis phase and we are birthing and expanding into a new way of being and LOVING?
Moving forward, I invite you to step into your chrysalis phase by:
Honoring your grief. You may be experiencing the loss of a LOVED one due to COVID-19. I honor your loss, and I hold you tight in my heart. You may be losing your job and worried about getting through it. I honor your loss and hold you tight in my heart. You may be missing out on milestone celebrations of weddings, proms, graduations, and funerals during this time. I honor your grief on missing out on these milestone moments and hold you tight in my heart. There is no need to compare your pain and grief to others as it is an individual experience. Know that you are LOVED through it and held in my heart.
Allowing fear to visit. Fear is a natural feeling to experience during times of uncertainty, and the more you are gentle with yourself through it, the easier it will be to release it. Fear can be your friend, too, as it is a sign that you are focusing on what you don't want in your life more than you are focusing on what you DO want. Allow fear to visit; don't invite it to move in and take control.
Being gentle with yourself and others. We like knowing what is expected of us. We like certainty. We like routine. When expectations, certainty, and routine are disrupted, it's easy to be hard on ourselves and others. When fear is present, our thoughts, words, and actions are impacted, too, so be gentle with yourself and others through the process.
Taking deep breaths. When we come from a lower vibration (fear, anger, disappointment), we often constrict our breathing and do not get the oxygen to our brains and hearts to make clearer decisions for ourselves. When fear visits, stop and take some deep breaths.
Feeling your feelings and not stuffing them. It is natural to feel heavier energy (fear, anxiety, worry, disappointment, anger) in times of uncertainty. Allow yourself to feel it as pretending it doesn't exist and everything is rainbows and kittens will not make it go away. I encourage you to stay present in this moment rather than fearing what 'might' come in the future. Feel it, hug yourself, express it to a trusted friend, write it out on paper and shred it. Do what you can to get it out of your body, and remember to be gentle with yourself in the process.
Stepping into gratitude. A great way to step out of fear is by stepping into gratitude. Mentally think of all the things you are grateful for in your life right now. Write them down. Speak them out loud, even if it's just out loud to yourself. Look around your home as you read this and focus on the things you are grateful for in your home. If you are really struggling and can't come up with things to be grateful for, think about the things most of us take for granted... your breath, your heart beating as these happen without us having to make them happen consciously.
Focusing on what you CAN control and releasing the need to control what you can't. Oh, how nice it would be to control our outer experiences and people within our circle, but we can't. We can control how we navigate through it and our role within it. Let go of what you cannot control and own what you can.
Seeing this time as rebirth. Rather than seeing this time as staying home and isolating yourself, begin to see it as a time of stillness and rebirth. What you are thinking about, speaking about, and acting upon right now is birthing who you will be on the other side of this. Focus on who you want to show up as right now and who you want to be moving forward.
Finding reasons to smile, laugh, dance, and play. Our world is beautiful, and it is messy. We get to choose what we give most of our attention to. I choose to focus on the helpers that come out in full force during times of struggle. I choose to focus on LOVE, kindness, and compassion as I know what I give my attention to grows. So I want to grow the energy of LOVE, kindness, compassion, smiles, laughter and play.
Mostly, I want you to see how much you matter in this world. Lives will be lost, and it is important to honor that. Lives will be altered in significant ways, and it is important to honor that. New ways of being are emerging, and it's important to honor that. I honor who you were, who you are, and who you are becoming.
Until next time, I LOVE you... stay home.
I am at peace as the wonders of my life unfolds.
Words to LOVE by:
"The butterfly counts not months but moments and has time enough."
- Rabindranath Tagore
"What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls the butterfly."
- Richard Bach
"Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you." - Nathaniel Hawthorne
Sounds for your Soul: